As the most populous city in the world, Shanghai has been shaped by travelers and settlers from all over. This is particularly evident in the city's food, which has been influenced by the culinary styles from both the northern and southern regions of China, as well as dishes from throughout the entire continent of Asia. This cultural integration holds true at Shanghai Café, where the chefs use recipes the Hu family has spent the past half-century perfecting. These recipes follow various Shanghai cooking principles—for instance, the original flavors of meats and fish are allowed to shine through rather than being drowned out by heavy marinades or sauces that are too sweet or salty.
Though the recipes are traditional, they respect modern, healthful eating habits by incorporating natural broths and stocks and limiting the use of oil. Some of the restaurant's signature dishes include boiled dumplings, steamed pork buns, and dim sum—a Shanghai staple. In the spirit of Shanghai's pan-Asian tendencies, the menus also include Thai dishes, such as pad kee mao (drunken noodles), nigiri, sashimi, and maki.
Potomac Pizza?s chefs toss and stretch fluffy, nonfat, and cholesterol-free dough into pizzas lauded by the Washington Post for ?returning pizza to its good name? in a world of national chains. The DC-area pizzerias create each pie with freshly-made sauce and a selection of 24 toppings, such as grilled chicken, eggplant, feta cheese, and Canadian bacon. Potomac Pizza?s kitchens also whip up calzones, and other Italian specialties such as lasagna and veal parmesan, served in Potomac?s dining rooms or nestled into boxes for takeout and delivery orders.
Potomac gets a taste of the Big Apple at Brooklyn's Deli & Catering, where caraway seed-spangled rye bread bookends stacks of pastrami, corned beef, and brisket. All of this meat is slow-cooked on-site and sliced paper-thin?owner Guy Brandt won't have it done any other way. His sandwiches range from standbys like tuna melts and Philly cheesesteaks to specialty items, such as the Esther's Delight: pastrami, cole slaw, and Russian dressing on pumpernickel.
The deli delivers more than just sandwiches, though. There's matzoh ball soup and stuffed cabbage, plus Dr. Brown's soda for washing it all down. Rugelach and hamentaschen also sit enticingly on the counter, awaiting the universal signal for dessert: three belly-pats in quick succession.